Restaurant Review: The Grandison, Bramfield

The Grandison is proving popular after just a few weeks of opening. Clare Bourke enjoys a Monday lunchtime treat

The cost of a two-course lunch for two was �42.50 including a glass of house white wine, two glasses of sparkling water and a diet coke. Service is not included

The GrandisonBury Lane, BramfieldHertford SG14 2QL01992

About the restaurantThe Grandison in Bramfield was recently opened by Aaron Clayton who already runs the successful Fox and Hounds at Barley. The pub and restaurant has an extensive bar offering four real ales and a well stocked wine cellar. All food is made fresh on site and cooked to order and includes everything from sandwiches to three-course dinners. A delicatessen and farm shop on the same site will be opening in time for Christmas.

First impressionsSet in the village of Bramfield, The Grandison really stands out thanks to its shiny newness. It exudes calm and charm from the outset and as you step inside it has a welcoming and warm feeling.

Atmosphere and d�corThe bar and restaurant feature pale yellow walls and beamed ceilings, modern tables and chairs, and the simple lines and a lack of any clutter make it feel fresh and bright.

ServiceWe were welcomed by a smiling barman who also turned out to be our lunch waiter. He was full of cheer and showed us to a table looking out into the back garden. He was attentive throughout lunch and very helpful.

To startI chose a plain Caesar salad (�5.95) with anchovies and fresh parmesan, which normally comes with croutons which I asked not to be included. The cos leaves had been well tossed in the dressing rather than it being simply drizzled over and there was a generous amount of parmesan. My companion opted for the smoked mackerel pat� served with thick wholemeal toast and homemade tomato and grape chutney (�5.95) and declared the pate to be creamy and just the right level of ‘fishiness’.

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For mainTo follow I opted for the penne pasta with smoked salmon, cream, white wine and parmesan (�9.95). It turned out to be a very rich dish, more suited to an evening than a lunch time, but was delicious, well seasoned and brimming with smoked salmon. My companion chose the sweet potato, mushroom and spinach tart with a dressed mixed leaf salad (�6.95) and a side order of ‘poor man’s potatoes’ (�2.50) – roughly chopped potatoes saut�ed with onions and parsley. The middle of the tart was moist without being wet underneath, as might be expected from the mushroom and spinach combination, and the flaky pastry not at all soft.To finishUnfortunately we were both too full from our previous two courses to manage even the smallest of desserts but did take a look at the dessert menu which offered a lovely choice of traditional desserts including creme brul�e and a coconut and lemon tart, both �5, a selection of sorbets and ice creams for �4 and a hot pudding of the day – warm brioche bread and butter pudding – at �5. If only we had left some room.

Our experienceThe Grandison has a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a contemporary setting with tables well placed for intimate dining or a night out with friends. Our two-course lunch proved an excellent start to a working week.

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